Cherry Blossoms by night

Hanami is amazing to see, and to experience. Seriously my favorite time to be in Tokyo amongst friends.







(Source: myndboggling)

New Jersey v. Tesla


Elon Musk on the ruling that you cannot buy a car directly from a manufacturer in the state of New Jersey:

It is worth examining the history of these laws to understand why they exist, as the auto dealer franchise laws were originally put in place for a just cause and are now being twisted to an unjust purpose. Many decades ago, the incumbent auto manufacturers sold franchises to generate capital and gain a salesforce. The franchisees then further invested a lot of their money and time in building up the dealerships. That’s a fair deal and it should not be broken. However, some of the big auto companies later engaged in pressure tactics to get the franchisees to sell their dealerships back at a low price. The franchisees rightly sought protection from their state legislatures, which resulted in the laws on the books today throughout the United States (these laws are not present anywhere else in the world).

The intent was simply to prevent a fair and longstanding deal between an existing auto company and its dealers from being broken, not to prevent a new company that has no franchisees from selling directly to consumers. In most states, the laws are reasonable and clear. In a handful of states, the laws were written in an overzealous or ambiguous manner. When all auto companies sold through franchises, this didn’t really matter. However, when Tesla came along as a new company with no existing franchisees, the auto dealers, who possess vastly more resources and influence than Tesla, nonetheless sought to force us to sell through them.

The reason that we did not choose to do this is that the auto dealers have a fundamental conflict of interest between promoting gasoline cars, which constitute virtually all of their revenue, and electric cars, which constitute virtually none. Moreover, it is much harder to sell a new technology car from a new company when people are so used to the old. Inevitably, they revert to selling what’s easy and it is game over for the new company.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an outdated law being twisted to impede progress and maintain the status quo. Even better:

An even bigger conflict of interest with auto dealers is that they make most of their profit from service, but electric cars require much less service than gasoline cars. There are no oil, spark plug or fuel filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks needed for an electric car. Also, all Tesla Model S vehicles are capable of over-the-air updates to upgrade the software, just like your phone or computer, so no visit to the service center is required for that either.

This is so clearly the future of the automotive industry, so this is ultimately just delaying the inevitable. But consumers have every right to be outraged and New Jersey should be ashamed of itself.

As someone who worked with both Saab (‘04) and Nissan (‘00) as a consultant, let me say this: the manufacturers would be *delighted* to see the dealerships take it in the teeth in any reform of these laws. They absolutely abhor their inability to control the last mile of the relationship with the consumer, to control advertising and branding, or to truly own the relationship. This has been brewing for 20+ years if my experience is any indication, and it will not work out well for the dealerships if Tesla gains momentum.


Meanwhile in San Francisco

Perfect. I think I know the guy whose ex girlfriend is dating his other ex girlfriend.

work with it.

work with it.

(Source: americanheirloom)


Stanford Professor Andrei Linde celebrates physics breakthrough (by StanfordUniversity)

This video is so beautiful.

I have some friends who are religious, and I envy that, because so much of science is just, you know, kind of a downer.

But then there’s this: the tears brought to a man’s face, who then says: “it’s an understanding of nature at such magnitude that it overwhelms.”

Wherever it comes from, more of that.

This is a beautiful capture of a moment of science, and of humanity.


True Detective, Olly Moss

And now I want action figures.

Okay. This is really early, but I’ll tell you (it’s about) hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.